24 April 2013
Last week, UNRWA celebrated the graduation of 438 local municipality and village council members from a multi-faceted training program that provided them with the knowledge to build capacity and maximize their ability to make use of UNRWA’s Job Creation Programme (JCP) services and resources.
The training sessions also built networks of communication between partners. Participants were trained to sustain and extend job opportunities into their local communities. The six training courses included: mobilisation of resources, proposal writing, sustainable development, economic empowerment, gender, and protection.
Hosted at the Best Eastern Hotel in Ramallah, the celebration included a Dabke performance, Palestinian folk dance, followed by a certificate ceremony and lunch.
The ceremony was attended by local representatives from Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah, and Hebron.
Partnering for success
“The workshops were very successful, and we learned how to communicate with local organizations in a way we were not doing before”, said Bani Zaid village council member Fatema Barghouti.
Bait Ur At Ti’ba village council leader Suleiman Yusef Jadalah agreed, saying: “The workshops were very useful for us and we have learned new ways to create sustainable job opportunities in our village.”
Encouraging, but not enough
Addressing attendees of the ceremony, Acting Deputy Director of UNRWA Operations David Hutton said: “JCP has created over 42,000 jobs for 18,500 Palestine refugees, having a positive effect on their families, counted at 106,000.” He continued, “While this is encouraging, it is not enough. Not when 2 of 10 Palestine refugees are food vulnerable and 23 per cent are not food secure. These numbers are not enough when one fourth of the Palestine refugees are unemployed. ”
Mr Hutton reiterated the Agency’s commitment to continuing its services to Palestine refugees, reiterating the need for cooperation between UNRWA and the community.
“UNRWA is committed to continuing to secure funds for Palestine refugees. We measure success not by what we provide Palestine refugees but rather by the difference those resources make in their lives.”